A visit to Taxco, “the silver Mecca”, simply isn't complete without a visit to its main mining hacienda, San Juan Bautista. About 20 minutes from Taxco, hidden among the hills, you'll find a magnificent medieval castle: the San Juan Bautista Hacienda, a silver producing estate that today is the symbol of the region's mining zenith in the 16th century. This region in the northern part of Guerrero is home to another seven mining haciendas that reaped the benefits of the region's affluence for their production: San Francisco Cuadra, El Fraile, Puente de Campuzano, Teneria, Sochula, San Sebastian and El Chorrillo. Yet San Juan Bautista, which recently opened its doors to tourists, is by far the best preserved of the haciendas.
This former hacienda was founded in 1555 by Don Luis de Castilla, the first mayor of Taxco. It is said that Hernan Cortes ordered it to be built, but never saw it finished since left for Spain and never returned to Mexico. This 18 hectare hacienda boasts an intra-wall water system, which still works even today with the force of gravity alone. Mineral rocks were received here, before the silver and mercury were extracted to form ingots, then carried out of town on the backs of mules to be distributed throughout the State.
The former San Juan Bautista Hacienda, which remained in operation for two whole centuries, is a magnificent example of medieval and baroque architecture. Other examples of medieval buildings in Guerrero State include the San Diego Fort in Acapulco, and the San Sebastian and Santa Prisca Parish in Taxco de Alarcon.